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24:1 "Why are times not stored up by the Almighty, and why do those who know Him not see His days?" Eliphaz had previously argued that God was majestic and separated from man, but a far greater concern to Job was God's "apparent neglect to use that majesty to correct the world's wrongs" (Zuck p. 109). "If God would post on a universal bulletin board His schedule for judging, people would be less frustrated over His seeming lackadaisical attitude toward sin" (Bible Knowledge Comm. p. 747). "He wondered why God did not set side specific times for judging so that those who trusted Him could see Him at work on those days" (Zuck p. 109). Why are the times for judgment upon the wicked not more evident? Job is stating a frustration that people have mentioned throughout time, "Why doesn't God make a clearer distinction in this life between the righteous and the wicked?" Job would like to see a little more fire and brimstone, and a little more frequently on the wicked.
24:2 Job now begins to mention the evil that was happening in his world and was not being judged. Some remove ancient landmarks, that is boundary stones that marked off property lines. Others were stealing livestock and mistreating orphans and widows (24:3), by seizing their last animal or only hope of support.
24:4-8 They even pushed the needy off the road so they could not beg, as a result "they had to hide to escape more oppression, hunt for food in the desert like wild donkeys, sleep with no protective clothing from the cold outdoors, suffer physically from being soaked by the heavy rains, and hug the rocks for shelter because of lack of houses" (Zuck p. 110).
24:9-10 Here are more injustices that God never seems to correct. People steal fatherless babies from their mothers, pledges are taken from the poor, and they are reduced to labor and toil while being hungry and thirsty. "The first line relates the cruel tyrant removing a baby from his mother's breast while she is being sold at auction" (Strauss p. 242). Here is also the picture of the laborer who is hungry while working in the midst of abundance. "How torturing it would be to carry food, which one could not eat, when one is starving. In the sight of mouth-watering succulent grapes, they are panting with thirst" (p. 242). "How God could be so oblivious to sins that He obviously sees committed in the open was difficult for Job to comprehend" (Zuck p. 110).
24:13 A further description of the wicked. Here is a description of those who rebel against the light (John 3:19-20), and who do their work often under the cover of physical darkness.
24:14 The murderer. The expression "at dawn" can also mean at the close of light, at night.
24:15 Here is the adulterer, who waits for night, and disguises himself, and claims that no one sees him. "As the prostitute seeks the double protection of disguise and darkness (Proverbs 7:9), here the adulterer also seeks the hiding power of darkness" (Strauss p. 244).
24:16 The thief, who in the ancient world, would actually dig into a house (Exodus 22:1), they were still digging in Jesus' time (Matthew 6:19).
24:17 Apparently Job is saying that the wicked fear daylight, just as ordinary people are afraid of the dark.
24:18 These verses appear to be the opposite of what Job has just said, therefore some scholars assign these words (18-24) to Zophar. Others say that Job is now quoting what his friends had said about the wicked, a sort of "you say". However, Job may be saying that even though the wicked live on, eventually they are punished. This would oppose the view of Zophar, that the wicked die young (20:5). "Job never said that the wicked do not suffer. Instead, Job said that both the righteous and the wicked suffer, and both prosper" (Zuck p. 111). 24:18 In the end such oppressors become as insignificant as foam on water and their land would be curses and unproductive.
24:19 They would perish in Sheol, the afterlife, just like snow melts during a drought.
24:20 The wicked are forgotten by their parents, only remembered by the worm that is feeding on their decaying bodies in the grave, and their wickedness will be eventually broken like a felled tree.
24:21-22 God eventually drags off the oppressor of the less fortunate, "who when He judges causes people to have no confidence that they will live" (Zuck p. 112).
24:23 God may allow sinners to become settled, but He is aware of their feelings of false security.
24:24 Job's friends had maintained that sinners are cut off immediately, Job counters that God actually allows sinners to prosper for some time, even until they grow up into maturity like ripened heads of grain, but they are cut off.
24:25 Here is the challenge to prove him wrong. Job's problem seems to be that God even allow the wicked to prosper for a short time. Job had forgotten about God's desire for all men to repent (2 Peter 3:9).
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Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Job 24". "Dunagan's Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
the Sixth Week after Easter